This graduation thesis guide was created after attending seminars, conferences, training sessions and taking advantage of the advice of my very experienced speaker.
The thesis is a particular work: it represents the result of a content production process studded with panic, terror and despair. For this reason, I thought of collecting all the suggestions received in a single mini guide that could help other students: here it is, all for you, in a single post
The mini guide is divided into four parts: conception, preparation, writing and presentation.
These represent the four thematic and temporal macro-areas to be respected if one does not want to write in the throes of confusion and total delirium. Rest assured, it’s nothing new, your rapporteur could very well tell you the same things … or maybe not. If your rapporteur is too busy to follow you step by step, here’s what to do.
First of all I suggest you to print this guide and write your goal somewhere big (I want to write a thesis with a maximum score). Having a checklist can be psychologically not useful, but saving. Under panic it is difficult to remember anything more than one’s name. Let a sheet do it for you.
But let’s move on to advice.
1. The thesis is written in small steps. Concentrate on short-term goals (think of a title … download the indications for fonts and margins of the sheet from the site of the faculty … write the first paragraph on blablabla …): what you designed at the beginning is never what you will have in the end, therefore do not sell the bear’s skin before having caught it. You may find yourself with a deer.
2. Choose the topic to be treated. Don’t overdo it by choosing something too complicated to attract the attention of the commission: it will never be a job as good as the one you feel yours, even if it looks simple and banal. The banalization will come later.
If you have no ideas, consult your university’s thesis archive, you could expand and / or update a topic covered years before it has now been innovated.
You could choose the area you would like your work field to be in the future, so that you can attach your thesis to the CV as a project ready and waiting only for a possible realization.
3. Find the rapporteur. The perfect speaker does not exist, and above all, you will have to fight to get his attention (especially if you have chosen the last graduation session of the academic year). Among a thousand undergraduates, why really you? Answer this question and you will be halfway there.
Don’t choose the best or the most beautiful, the important things are: seriousness, reliability (you need to be sure that you read your work), possibly punctuality and maybe hope in you. A lecturer convinced in the work of the graduating student is the best thing after the chocolate with guarana coffee beans, but just as difficult to find.
Now that you have an idea of what you want to do, here’s what to do before you start collecting the materials for the thesis.
4. Print all the forms to register for the thesis from the site or have them delivered by the student secretariat. I recommend: make sure they are the right ones. You will fill them in together with the rapporteur at the right time.
5. If you have a diary that you always carry with you, mark the first page with mail, cell phone number or telephone number and reception times for the speaker.
Don’t underestimate the importance of emails. Usually the university provides a general e-mail to each professor with the name of the university as a domain (eg marco [email protected]áblu.it); is the least used, try to get another email, which you use more often. In theory, a graduate student should have a preferential approach over other students.
6. Write down a list with all the libraries in the area and their timetables (civil, municipal and university libraries). Also add the sites from which to download essays for free that can implement your arguments giving a touch of professionalism in addition (the so-called journals or scientific articles in which the professors are in love).
I recommend: inquire at your university’s library about their database. Almost all universities have online subscriptions to the scientific journals you need and through their computer you can download the essays you need for free. If they are not subscribers, sometimes they can also buy the essay you need (I speak of essays online, not books for the thesis, unfortunately).
7. Buy: black tea, coffee and dark chocolate. They will help you. A small supply for sleep emergencies.
Ladder or division of the thesis
This method is especially valid for three-year theses. For the master’s theses, reapply it for the number of parts in which you will divide the theses (the magisterial ones are usually divided into parts, each of which in chapters. The theses from three years directly in chapters).
Imagine your thesis divided into 4/5 chapters plus introduction and conclusion, which you will deal with at the end of everything.
The division into chapters must be in an inverted triangle or a funnel, that is, from the general to the specific.
We usually start with a smattering of general theory and arrive at the final chapter in which you summarize all your knowledge in something empirical. A questionnaire, a phonetic analysis, an interview … The first 3 chapters will have to prepare the reader for this.
- what is a forest;
- the birth of ecology, environmentalists of the 1960s;
- the current rules;
- questionnaire on ecology at the University of Mario Rossi.
Let the speaker help you, having his approval at the beginning will ensure that you don’t have to do it all over again at the end.
Remember the list with the addresses of the libraries and sites to consult? Use it to look for the books the speaker gave you. You can view the catalogs of the libraries on the list from home, so you save yourself some empty trips. These catalogs are all called OPACs.
If the professor has not given you book titles, use the OPAC thematic search to get an idea of the books available on the topic of your thesis.
Don’t underestimate the bibliography of past theses with a similar topic to yours. You could take inspiration from those same sources.
3. Drawing up
The working method
timing: give yourself 1 month for each chapter + 1 month for conclusion, introduction and revisions. Example: 4 chapters, 5 months;
every time you finish a chapter, send it to your supervisor by e-mail for a check;
lay out the bibliography as you actually quote a text while you write;
give yourself a minimum of time per day for drafting, even just to re-read what you have done up to that point;
remember the pauses, they help the mind not to overload itself;
keep these sites open on your PC for quick reference: wordreference (for the translation of foreign words if you work on material in a foreign language), and wikiversity, the wikipedia university page. Only for consultation to clarify doubts at the moment, they do not count as bibliographic material!
take care of you
Usually the panic causes the student to throw himself headlong into writing in a continuous full immersion, to the detriment of his health. Try to remember some things:
limited coffees, or too many will cause acidity in the stomach and the thesis will wear you down more than you should;
take care of the food; certain vitamins help the brain work better;
reserve yourself one day a week totally away from the computer;
balance the brightness of the screen according to the light in the room, so you won’t strain your eyes too much.
There are universities in which the thesis is delivered in secretarial and just, others in which you have to expose orally, others in which a powerpoint presentation is obligatory.
Leaving aside the first case, here are the tips for exhibitions.
Oral exhibition without presentation
Usually in these cases you sit in front of the committee and talk. Nothing more difficult.
Anxiety, terror, panic, tachycardia, sweat, stuttering … all this can be minimized with good preparation in the previous days.
Prepare the speech at least a week before.
In the following days, dedicate some time to learn it by heart. You do not need word by word, but divide the text into paragraphs based on the theme or topic and learn those subdivisions. They will help the mnemonic process.
Use the recorder to listen to you. Usually in hearing one’s own voice one notices small common mistakes, like speaking too quickly, too many leaps (ahem, that is, actually, though …)
In passing over in a loud voice, give yourself a rhythm with your hand, beating on the leg keeping time. The voice will follow the hand.
You could register with the camera and then watch it on video. Sometimes we have facial tics that show how nervous we are.
With power point
Even in this situation you started preparing the power point a week before.
Usually font 24 or 28, font Arial or Times New Roman.
Put a picture per slide.
As the first slide, title, top university, your name and email.
Final slide with thanks for the attention and email again as address.
To better understand how to make a good presentation of the thesis, we also refer you to this post of ours.
The dress is a graduate
Appearance is everything. In choosing how to dress in the discussion, opt for sober garments, which you would wear for a job interview in the office.
For men, depending on the circumstances, it is also possible to wear jeans, but always with a shirt and jacket. This is what gives a professional tone.
For women: if you choose to wear a dress, always use stockings. The bare legs are not professional. And pay attention to the length. Heels are allowed, but nothing dizzying. Attention also to the neckline. Avoid too bright colors. For example, if you want to wear a light blue shirt, strictly gray pants, black or white, to balance the view.
Finally, for the discussion, speak with the rapporteur, they will direct you to the topics most subject to a possible question.
I hope this guide was helpful.
Good luck to all students!
The publication of this guide on our website was made possible thanks to, the favor our company ite site of thousands of students to print their thesis online.